The urgency of the need to tackle climate change has become increasingly apparent and across the globe popular support for action is growing. In parallel, the potential economic opportunities of the transition to a low carbon economy are becoming clearer, with domestic and global markets in low carbon technologies estimated to be worth billions of pounds to the UK economy over the coming decades. All sectors of the UK will go through a transformation on the journey to net zero and this will impact the workers and communities they sustain.
This transformation is well underway. Across the UK there are already over 410,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains, with turnover estimated at £42.6 billion in 20192, and the value of goods and services exported by UK low carbon businesses exceeding £7 billion.
Last year, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government set out its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. This plan will support up to 250,000green jobs in 2030, by seeking to develop long-term advantage for the UK in new low carbon sectors. Investments in these sectors are expected to drive funding and jobs across the UK, from electric vehicle manufacture in the midlands, to construction and installation of offshore wind farms around the coast and the retrofitting of homes across the country.
However, the UK can go much further. The government has set an ambition for two million green jobs in the UK by 2030. The Green Jobs Taskforce (‘the Taskforce’) was announced as part of the Ten Point Plan, bringing together industry, academia, trade unions and the skills sector, to independently advise the government, industry and the skills sector on how the UK can deliver this ambition and support our industries and workers in this transition. The Taskforce worked between November 2020 and July 2021. This report sets out its key findings and recommendations.